Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
Sylvester Primer, retired professor of Germanic studies, died on August 13, 1912. He was 69.
Professor Primer was born on December 14, 1842, in Geneva, Wisconsin. He was awarded a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1874 and a PhD from the University of Strassburg in 1880.
Dr. Primer taught at the College of Charleston, the Friend's School in Providence, Rhode Island, and the College of Colorado. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1891, where he taught for the remainder of his career. In addition to serving as chairman of Germanic studies, he also directed the University's program in romance languages for a number of years.
Professor Primer's published works included Die Consonantische Deklination in den germanischen Sprachen (1880) and annotated editions of Lessing's Minna von Barnhelm (1889), Lessing's Nathan der Weise (1894), and Goethe's Egmont (1898).
During the Civil War, Professor Primer was a member of the 108th New York Infantry and the Fifteenth New York Cavalry. He fought in twenty-three battles, including Antietam.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History Center and the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996.